What It's All About, Alfie

Why are some people so disparaging of poor suits that they prefer to play in No Trumps rather than try to find a trump suit to play in? One of the major failings of newer players is that they do not recognise the importance that having a trump suit can make in two ways: maintaining control over the opposition, and taking and establishing extra tricks. Take a look at Board 5 from this week’s session:

Board 5 from 27/03/2019
Dealer N NS Vul


When North opens 1D, there is every reason for South to bid 1S. But what should South do if North now rebids 1NT? Since the 1NT rebid shows 15-16 (or 15-17 as some people play it) it seems reasonable to raise to 3NT. But, despite the very poor quality spade suit, it is more reasonable to find out if North has three card spade support, is it not? If North has three spades then spades will be a great suit to have as trumps, and a spade contract is sure to play better than No Trumps, pretty well irrespective of what cards North holds. If North has only two spades, then 3NT is where NS belong.

There is an easy way to find out: South now bids 3C, a jump that is game forcing and ostensibly shows a four card club suit as well as FIVE spades. I say ostensibly, because South’s jump to 3C can be done with only three clubs, it is simply a way to find out if North has three spades. That aside, there are also pairs who play 2C after a 1NT rebid as ‘checkback’ and that also allows NS to find out about a three card spade suit with North as well as a maximum or minimum if NS are playing a 15-17 point 1NT rebid. The simple way, though, is to jump to 3C, find three card spade support, and end up in 4S, which if played properly, will make more tricks than you will in No Trumps, and score you many more match points, which is what bridge is about, isn’t it?

Replay this board by clicking here.